Out of Africa: The New Cannabis Trade Looming With Europe
There does not seem to be an end to cannabis demand the new market in Europe is creating – at least if you are looking at where far flung growers are announcing new deals. No matter the fact that Europe is getting into the cannabis production business – from Portugal and Spain to the East, there are also indications that distributors are looking far further afield.
For example, one of the largest legal operators in Lesotho (a tiny country surrounded by South Africa) has just been given permission to expand to 200 hectares of growing. Further, regulators have indicated that they would consider allowing outdoor cultivation post 2019.
GACP and GMP level licensing is also starting to take place.
Africa, especially the southern tip of the continent, is eyeing two valuable markets: exporting to Europe (a path long established for other valuable commodities) and of course, the cross-continental trade. The continent is looking for ways to jump into the newest commodity game in town.
But how will this market stack up, particularly in Europe, to South American exports finding their way to these shores?
Driving Additional Price Competition Is In The Room In Europe
The challenge increasingly thrown into the room, including at conferences around the globe, is whether Canada will continue to be able to maintain its prominence in the global cannabis industry.
With new markets opening from Australia, Africa and South America, it is clear that low-cost cannabis produced at high standard is coming online fast now. And while some of the largest Canadian companies have already established footholds, if not strategic partnerships, in opening markets (see the U.S.), there is clearly room for competition beyond them.
Idealistic dreams in the room in 2017 – namely the idea that national healthcare systems in Europe (or the UK) would continue to subsidize highly priced cannabis also hit the skids last year as even the biggest Canadians involved in the German cultivation bid and granted EU import rights in individual countries across the continent were forced to lower prices for wholesale acquisition by health agencies.
That means, everywhere, for the vast majority of patients in the room that the only affordable path to medical access right now is finding lower cost producers willing to sell into their target markets at legal prices that beat the unregulated market (namely patients can afford the same).
And those producers, increasingly, are hailing from Africa.
The International Cannabis Business Conference is the industry event to learn the latest and to network with top investors and entrepreneurs. Next up: Vancouver, Canada, this September 15-16. Discounted, early bird tickets are available until August 21st.